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Constitution talks begin in Tobago

Monday, February 17, 2014

A national consultation on the draft report of the Constitutional Reform Commission will be held at the Signal Hill Secondary School in Tobago this evening from 5 pm to 8 pm. Commission chairman Prakash Ramadhar, Minister of Legal Affairs, will lead members and supporting teams in a bid in the exercise to ensure Tobagonians are given an opportunity to express their views on the report.



Other members of the commission are Dr Hamid Ghany, political scientist, Justice Amrika Tewarie, Carlos Dillon and Dr Merle Hodge. Tobagonians are invited to attend the consultation and participate fully in the process. Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chairman Orville London, at a meeting in Plymouth last week, said he plans to embark on a series of strategies to put the issue of internal self government for Tobago on the national agenda.


“I want us to put it back on the agenda as a Tobago thing. It must be on the agenda as a Tobago people thing.” Whether this meant he believed it should be a part of the national consultations was not clear. Efforts to reach London yesterday were not successful. In a THA release in March last year, London stated the assembly was not making its views known on constitutional reform for T&T at that point in time.


He told this to members of the Constitution Reform Commission who paid a courtesy call on him on March 26, 2013. London said he recognised the national consultations were a very important exercise and pledged the commitment of the THA and Tobagonians. But he added, “We did indicated to the minister we are very clear the issue of internal self government for Tobago is one that should not be embroiled in this particular process.”


After a series of national consultations on constitutional reform, the commission prepared a report on citizens’ views. The commission is now going back to the public to get a second feedback on the report. Two such consultations were already held and a final one will be held at Paria Suites Hotel and Conference Centre in San Fernando. T&T Guardian is at today’s consultation and will cover the event in tomorrow’s paper.


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